Question Home hifi setup - input appreciated.


Novice Member
Hi there,
I have recently started considering adding a Hifi system to my living room. I have a lot of restrictions that are influencing my decision-making so I just wanted to sound out my reasoning and see if I could get some feedback.

  • The set up will be in my living room is 3x4 metres in a typical British terraced house. I have tried to convince my wife that we need this, but she remains skeptical and so the set up needs to be on a budget and remain inconspicuous in the room.
  • The speakers will live on bookshelves amongst books on either side of the chimney breast. Because of the baby and my wife, I can't put them anywhere else. I think the most likely solution will need to be 30 cm tall (the distance between shelves). The top shelf has more room, approx 45cm, but I'm unsure about dangling speaker cables from the top.
  • I think I'm going to be use a Raspberry Pi4 with a Hifiberry Amp2 attached to power the speakers. I'm also thinking of attaching the Pi to the TV and using it so stream sports and films from time-to-time, but it will mainly be for music. I don't want to spend a lot of money and space with multiple dedicated units, so I'm thinking the RPi might be an elegant all-in-one solution. However, the amp has an output of 60 Watts. Will it play nicely with speakers that have requirements of 60Watts and above?
  • We are in mid-terrace and and the speakers will be against an adjoining wall, so I can't blow my neighbours away, and we don't have the space, so I'm not considering any subwoofers. But I would like the bookshelf speakers to produce an enjoyable amount of bass, just at softer volumes.
  • My speaker budget is £100 and £150 at a justifiable push.
  • I've had a look at the Mordaunt Short M20s seem to fit the bill at Richer sounds. They go down to 40Hz. I noticed that this is a rarity amongst bookshelf speakers. Does the frequency need to go this low if I'm not running a subwoofer?
  • The Cambridge Audio SX-60s look really nice, but they don't fit the space requirements as they are 34cm tall. Can I lay them sideways or is this heresy?
  • Do you have any other recommendations?
Thanks for reading through my post.



Distinguished Member
As they're going on a bookshelf you will want front ported speakers else you're going to get a ton of bloated bass.


Distinguished Member
Agree with @Hixs, best to go for front ported for bookcase use. Also, just be careful on comparing the minimum frequency, different manufacturers quote this figure at different cut off dB points, some -3dB, some -6dB and some -10dB, worth going to the manufacturers web site to find out which one it is.

Here's a couple of used options -

Tannoy Mercury V1 - dead on 30cm high -

Tannoy Mercury V1 Main / Stereo Speakers Dark Walnut Exc 5035866858705 | eBay

Kef IQ10 - these are 301mm high so depend on the tolerance of your shelves.

Happy hunting.


Active Member
I've owned the mordaunt shorts and they do need space around them, some of the mission speakers probably worth a look, also b&w 601 which are front ported


Well-known Member
I've had a look at the Mordaunt Short M20s seem to fit the bill at Richer sounds. They go down to 40Hz. I noticed that this is a rarity amongst bookshelf speakers.

A rarity because it's unlikely to be true.

Sorry to say but manufacturer's published specifications are often designed to mislead (I see no response limits here?) or are just plain fantasy figures. Despite what some spec. figures may suggest, physics prevails!

Similarly sized bookshelf speakers can have slightly different bass extension characteristics depending on the bass performance compromises chosen by the designer/manufacturer.

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